Day 6, 4th July

Book: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Page: 89
Which is: Harry, Ron and Hermione on the train, just before the Dementor attack
Lead: 82
Time Spent: 20 hours
Pages Remaining: 2899 (28% complete)
Estimated Completion: Thu 19th Jul
Favourite Character: Harry
Random Quote: It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are (Chamber of Secrets)
Cool Moment: The Knight Bus

So on to book 3 – which is thicker than the first 2 but not the real thickness of the next 3 which are all 750+pages. The past 4 days I’ve been on a different book. That probably won’t happen again for a while.

My quote today is very important thematically.

It crops up again in book 6 where Dumbledore explains that the Prophecy about Harry and Voldemort only works because Voldemort believes in it and therefore makes choices that make it come true. I was a little annoyed by that when I read it. It’s odd in a series about magic to take such a non-supernatural approach. But when I re-read this quote in Chamber I realised that it is a consistent theme of the books. Harry makes good choices, or aspires to them. It is sometimes his abilities that allow him to defeat/escape Voldemort. However often it is outside help. In book 4 his ghostly parents allow him time to escape. In book 5 the “cavalry” arrive just in time. In book 2 not only is it Fawkes the Phoenix that rescues him but Fawkes comes to him specifically because Harry remains loyal to Dumbledore. In other words he’s rewarded for making the right choice.

In real life we have to struggle with the fact that making the right choice may not lead to “rescue” or success. I suppose in book 5 Harry suffers under Umbridge for insisting that he’s not lying about Voldemort returning. But that’s the only example I can think of off the top of my head where Harry makes a good choice and suffers for it.

So I agree with the sentiment that it’s our choices that are telling about who we are as people. I think the hidden message, that if we do choose right then we’ll ultimately win through in the end, perhaps even directly because of it (like the Fawkes incident), is harder to accept. But these are stories and stories aimed largely, if not exclusively, at children – so perhaps such morals are not unexpected.

Still enjoying the reading. I only did 2.5 hours yesterday and did just about my quota. I guess I’ve got the weekend coming up but still I’d like to get a little bit ahead each day. Oh and I’ve decided what to do about yesterday’s finishing early dilemma: aim to finish OotP in time for the film, finish HBP and then use any remaining time to re-watch the other movies. In particular there’s supposed to be some unintended foreshadowing in movie 3 that Rowling spotted.


About shuggie

My name is Shuggie, Paul or LatePaul depending on where you know me from. I work in computers (databases) and occasionally write about softw
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